Today’s recipe is inspired by our personal friend George Menzelos (who happens to be the founder/owner of Arianna Trading Company, he’s a supplier of amazing tasting organic Greek olive oil). Coincidentally, George also [inadvertently] personally inspired us to create a low sodium olive oil pastry crust recipe. We’ve taken George’s original greens and herbs pie recipe and converted it into a low sodium version (our version is pictured above).
Here is George’s story behind his homemade horto-merothikopita pie
[horta = greens] + [merothika = herbs] +[pita = pie] = ["greens-herbs-pie"]
Welcome to Greece! My greens and herbs pie is not a traditional Greek dish in so much as it’s a creation by a Greek/American foodie who’s a health nut. Having traveled around the different regions of Greece, I have seen many variations on spanakopita, they use the greens and herbs they have in season and what is available not just spinach. Greens of all kinds are a huge part of the traditional Greek diet and have been attributed to their good health and longevity. Unfortunately with globalization and especially since it’s entering into the EU there has also come fast food into the Greek people’s diet. You now see the same cardiovascular diseases and obesity happening among Greeks particularly in the young people.
As part of what I’ve studied about adding alkaline based foods into my diet, I regularly prepare a raw greens & herbs pesto. This pesto is a puree of many types of greens and herbs with lemon juice, olive oil and walnuts that I whip up in a food processor. I try and make this a part of my weekly routine and it keeps refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. This pesto oxidizes so I keep a layer of olive oil covering the top. I use this pesto as a spread for sandwiches and wraps, raw on cooked pasta, as a dip or just eat it straight up from a spoon, yum.
This greens pie is actually the byproduct of making my pesto. I can buy up more variety of greens for use in both. Because it’s been baked the greens and herb pie will last much longer and it also freezes beautifully. This is a great way to get a concentrated amount of vitamins and minerals into your diet that’s simple and tastes great. Note that I do like to buy and use the whole bags of organic pre washed greens for the most part and use the upper stems with the leaves of a whole bunch of herbs to cut down on prep time. After preparing the base of the greens mixture I separate the mix into the raw and baking parts adding in the remaining ingredients, often saving and baking the pie the following day. It’s a great way to get in a healthy portion of greens and herbs into your diet. This pie is a perfect side dish to grilled fish or meats and it makes a great breakfast or lunch.
Our low sodium version of George’s horto-merothikopita pie recipe
Makes 1 – 12″ pie
1 or 2 unbaked low sodium pie crusts (depending if you want to make a covered pie or an uncovered one — we made ours “uncovered”).
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 oz of spinach, kale, arugula mix (we used 6 oz kale, 6 oz spinach, and 4 oz arugula)
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup fresh dill
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup low sodium ricotta (or goat) cheese
3/4 cup packed green onion/scallions
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic
Optional: top with whipped mascarpone cheese (as seen).
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- In a food processor, chop all ingredients listed in step A (scallions, spinach, kale, arugula, mint, dill and cilantro). Remove and place in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a food processor, whip together the ingredients listed in step b (ricotta, green onion, eggs, olive oil, and garlic).
- Fold together and place in unbaked pie shell
- Bake at 350F for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. (Place foil loosely over the top for the first 20 minutes) . Enjoy!